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Functioning denier

Old 03-31-2018, 07:14 AM
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Functioning denier

Hello,
I am 24 and dating a functioning alcoholic who is 35 years old. We've been dating for almost a year now and it's been an emotional rollercoaster. He had 3 DUIs 10 years ago, still smoked and drink when we met but blamed his "loneliness" for his habits. We were in different states so he said he would like to stop living the way he did and move closer to me. Me being the oblivious and positive person who has 0 experience with an alcoholic, I was hopeful. He came, immediately found a job with weird hours, stayed up and drank beer all night while playing video games for 3 months. When he left that job things became clear to me, because he would start playing his games in the morning and start drinking in the afternoon. He wanted me to sit next to him and smile.

Long story short, we had lots of fights between December and now. He denied everything at first, until 3 days ago. He said the court sent him to AA meetings so he knows how this works. He said if he sets the days to drink and limit the number, then it means he is an alcoholic. I had to calm myself down and explain how he already is one and limiting is just one of the steps...

As you can imagine this is the shortest version of the story. I made mistakes in my communication with him, but Gosh isn't he hard to explain things. Sometimes I feel like I'm talking to a wall. I'm typing this while he is sleeping next to me stinking booze and weed. He probably drank "only" 4 beers last night but he set limit to 3. I don't know how I can handle this.

On a quick note: Before I came to the US, away from my miserable life I was a heavy drinker. I drank and got high for 2 years straight, no breaks whatsoever. However, it wasn't hard for me to stop that, I don't even like the sensation now. So i have no idea how to deal with someone who enjoys ups and downs of these unhealthy "habits".
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Old 03-31-2018, 07:44 AM
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In the adult sense, that doesn't sound like "functioning" to me.

Are you saying that you want to stay with him? You can't talk him into recovery
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Old 03-31-2018, 08:16 AM
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Hi Clover, thank you for replying. He is "functioning" because we do stuff together, he works and drinking was never a problem for him at work. We had a huge fight about gaming and he finally understood, never was a problem again.

His drinking was worse when he was younger as far as I know. Right now he has goals and I believe in him to meet his expectations. He thinks he can drink just a couple and be fine. I simply don't see him being able to do that.
I am trying really hard to understand alcoholism and not be unrealistic after being heart broken many times... I would like to stay with him and see him walking next to me, reaching his goals while I'm doing the same. I just don't know how I can deal with this whole thing and how we could get there...
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Old 03-31-2018, 09:07 AM
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Ovity....It is obvious that you really don't know much about the nature of alcoholism.....
I am going to give you the following link to our extensive library of excellent articles on alcoholism and the effects on the loved ones....there are about one hundred of them...so...enough for you to read one every single day....lol.
There is sooo much to learn!
Knowledge is power....

the amount of fighting and emotional roller coaster should not be happening in the first year of dating in a healthy relationship.....
If you have visions of a partner to achieve future goals with you....I think you may end up very disappointed in this guy......I predict a l ot of opain, yet, for you, in your future....
I certainly does not give me any pleasure to have to say these things to you...because I realize that these are things that you don't want to hear...but, I feel a moral responsibility to give you a realistic picture...drawn from my own experience and observation of others......

I hope that you w ill stay around and keep reading and keep learning....

https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums...c-reading.html (Classic Reading)
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Old 03-31-2018, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by dandylion View Post
Ovity....It is obvious that you really don't know much about the nature of alcoholism.....
I am going to give you the following link to our extensive library of excellent articles on alcoholism and the effects on the loved ones....there are about one hundred of them...so...enough for you to read one every single day....lol.
There is sooo much to learn!
Knowledge is power....

the amount of fighting and emotional roller coaster should not be happening in the first year of dating in a healthy relationship.....
If you have visions of a partner to achieve future goals with you....I think you may end up very disappointed in this guy......I predict a l ot of opain, yet, for you, in your future....
I certainly does not give me any pleasure to have to say these things to you...because I realize that these are things that you don't want to hear...but, I feel a moral responsibility to give you a realistic picture...drawn from my own experience and observation of others......

I hope that you w ill stay around and keep reading and keep learning....
I think I've been avoiding the reality of alcoholism when I was reading. In denial myself, huh.
I really appreciate your honesty and help. If I didn't seek for these I wouldn't be writing here today

I don't see the link though, could you double check it?
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Old 03-31-2018, 09:19 AM
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Ovity......oops!....I forgot to include it.....
thanks for the heads up. I just now, did add it to the bottom of my post....
(I fear that my brain has been effected by too much Easter candy).......

Ovity...I will take this time to recommend the book "Co-dependent No More"...in case you have not already read it. It is a very highly recommended book by many members of this forum. It is an easy read and I think that much of it will jump off the page for you....You can probably read it in two or three days...(or more, for you...since you have a lot of school work, also).....
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Old 03-31-2018, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by dandylion View Post
Ovity......oops!....I forgot to include it.....
thanks for the heads up. I just now, did add it to the bottom of my post....
(I fear that my brain has been effected by too much Easter candy).......
Mmm the best kind...

Thank you, i see the link now.
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Old 03-31-2018, 10:22 AM
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Ovity, I also want to point out something that you'll likely come across soon, if you haven't already: "Functioning" is a stage of alcoholism, not a type. All alcoholics "function"--until they don't.

I'd like to share the following piece of wisdom posted by another SR member in the past about "functioning" alcoholics, and whether that is really what they do or not:

I'm not going to be very eloquent here, but when people who aren't in it use the phrase "functioning alcoholic" or imply that the situation isn't that difficult because the alcoholic is able to maintain a job and doesn't beat anyone, or because they "obviously" care for their families, those people are dismissing the biggest parts of what makes humans who we are. The fact that a person can hold a job, can move about the world without stumbling and hurting themselves or others, that they can make a sandwich for their kids - those functions don't make a human a full and complete human. A robot can do all of those things. To truly function, a human has to be able to do more than that, and honestly a human doesn't need to be able to do the things above to be able to "function" as a human being. The other things - like connecting to others with truth - are so much more important. I've come to the realization that there's no such thing as a functioning alcoholic. There may be physically capable alcoholics, but that's as far as I can go.

Hope that helps to clear up a little corner of the fog for you...
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Old 03-31-2018, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by honeypig View Post
Ovity, I also want to point out something that you'll likely come across soon, if you haven't already: "Functioning" is a stage of alcoholism, not a type. All alcoholics "function"--until they don't.

I'd like to share the following piece of wisdom posted by another SR member in the past about "functioning" alcoholics, and whether that is really what they do or not:

I'm not going to be very eloquent here, but when people who aren't in it use the phrase "functioning alcoholic" or imply that the situation isn't that difficult because the alcoholic is able to maintain a job and doesn't beat anyone, or because they "obviously" care for their families, those people are dismissing the biggest parts of what makes humans who we are. The fact that a person can hold a job, can move about the world without stumbling and hurting themselves or others, that they can make a sandwich for their kids - those functions don't make a human a full and complete human. A robot can do all of those things. To truly function, a human has to be able to do more than that, and honestly a human doesn't need to be able to do the things above to be able to "function" as a human being. The other things - like connecting to others with truth - are so much more important. I've come to the realization that there's no such thing as a functioning alcoholic. There may be physically capable alcoholics, but that's as far as I can go.

Hope that helps to clear up a little corner of the fog for you...
Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I've been feeling nothing but guilty the whole time for feeling like this. I am not an American, have been here for 3 years by myself struggling with life, paying for school more than the residents, trying to work as much as my legal status allows me to do so. I've been a very dedicated student and i love learning, helping people, teaching and working. When I see my boyfriend living like this... It just doesn't make any sense to me. Although I did it in the past myself, I knew why I was living the way he does now. Social pressure, family pressure is really high in middle eastern countries and that's not something I could handle as a free spirited person. I made bad choices instead of working through those issues or finding my way out earlier. I am nowhere near to be judgemental but am disappointed when the promises made at the beginning aren't met.

Like one of the comments mentioned above, it's not a healthy relationship if you have to fight as much as we do within the first year. I love him very much, he is one of the best people I've ever met has a big heart. I, on the other hand, only care so much about good qualities and leave people for not being able to "function" at the same level as I do. I don't know if it's the right decision in this case since I'm not ready to give up on him yet...
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Old 03-31-2018, 12:30 PM
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I don't know if it's the right decision in this case since I'm not ready to give up on him yet...
Please do understand--his recovery or lack thereof has nothing, nada, not the slightest thing, to do with your "giving up on him." That decision is his, his and his alone, to make.

You can only choose what you do with YOUR life, not what he does with his. One of the best short quotes I have seen on this topic is this: "Letting go doesn't mean you stop caring. It means you stop trying to force others to care."

This goes into a little more depth:
There is a big difference between giving up and letting go. Giving up means selling yourself short. It means allowing fear and struggle to limit your opportunities and keep you stuck. Letting go means freeing yourself from something that is no longer serving you. It means removing toxic people and belief systems from your life so that you can make room for relationships and ideas that are conducive to your wellbeing and happiness. Giving up reduces your life. Letting go expands it. Giving up is imprisoning. Letting go is liberation. Giving up is self-defeat. Letting go is self-care.

So the next time you make the decision to release something or someone that is stifling your happiness and growth, and a person has the audacity to accuse you of giving up or being weak, remind yourself of the difference. Remind yourself that you don’t need anyone’s permission or approval to live your life in the way that feels right. No one has the authority to tell you who to be or how to live. No one gets to decide what your life should look like or who should be a part of it. No one, but you.


The difference is enormous, and understanding it changed my life in ways I never imagined, ways totally unrelated to the A in my life, as well in the ways one might think it would.
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Old 03-31-2018, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by honeypig View Post
Please do understand--his recovery or lack thereof has nothing, nada, not the slightest thing, to do with your "giving up on him." That decision is his, his and his alone, to make.

You can only choose what you do with YOUR life, not what he does with his. One of the best short quotes I have seen on this topic is this: "Letting go doesn't mean you stop caring. It means you stop trying to force others to care."

This goes into a little more depth:
There is a big difference between giving up and letting go. Giving up means selling yourself short. It means allowing fear and struggle to limit your opportunities and keep you stuck. Letting go means freeing yourself from something that is no longer serving you. It means removing toxic people and belief systems from your life so that you can make room for relationships and ideas that are conducive to your wellbeing and happiness. Giving up reduces your life. Letting go expands it. Giving up is imprisoning. Letting go is liberation. Giving up is self-defeat. Letting go is self-care.

So the next time you make the decision to release something or someone that is stifling your happiness and growth, and a person has the audacity to accuse you of giving up or being weak, remind yourself of the difference. Remind yourself that you don’t need anyone’s permission or approval to live your life in the way that feels right. No one has the authority to tell you who to be or how to live. No one gets to decide what your life should look like or who should be a part of it. No one, but you.


The difference is enormous, and understanding it changed my life in ways I never imagined, ways totally unrelated to the A in my life, as well in the ways one might think it would.
Honeypig, thank you for taking the time to make things clear. It makes so much sense once you grasp the difference between the two. When I said "I'm not ready to give up" I was mostly talking about me being not ready, and still I would have to know the difference between the two.

I have never changed how I felt about drinking and smoking. He knew and knows how much I dislike constant drinking. I would like to believe I have not enabled him either. I just don't like second guessing everything I'm saying or doing in my relationship because the other person gets defensive and manipulative in a situation he doesn't like to be in.
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Old 03-31-2018, 01:49 PM
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remove the actions and look at the thoughts of a functioning alacoholic. typically they arent functioning.

I would like to stay with him and see him walking next to me, reaching his goals while I'm doing the same

wee bit of a problem with this. first, it reads like you really dont know this man sober.
second, you may not like who is walking next to you sober.
3rd, what your looking at is YOUR thoughts on how he will be when hes walking next to you when in reality you dont even know how he will be sober because youve never known him that way.
reality vs dream there.

....leave people for not being able to "function" at the same level as I do.
if that was the truth, it seems you would have left him already because he's not functioning at the same level.
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Old 03-31-2018, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by tomsteve View Post
remove the actions and look at the thoughts of a functioning alacoholic. typically they arent functioning.

I would like to stay with him and see him walking next to me, reaching his goals while I'm doing the same

wee bit of a problem with this. first, it reads like you really dont know this man sober.
second, you may not like who is walking next to you sober.
3rd, what your looking at is YOUR thoughts on how he will be when hes walking next to you when in reality you dont even know how he will be sober because youve never known him that way.
reality vs dream there.
I know him sober but maybe not when he is not "addicted" to something, you are right. I am basing my dreams off of what he tells me that he wants to do. I never have specific expectations of someone until they share a plan with me. Yet, I see your point and think you may be right. It sucks that we can't get straightforward answers or solutions about this.
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Old 03-31-2018, 02:19 PM
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ovity, im an ex drunk. what i read is a wee bit how i was- not so much looking for a relationship how adults typically have, but looking for a relationship with someone that would allow me to do what i wanted and take care of me.
until i sunk deeper into alcoholism- then i took hostagesi got manipulative and did what i could to get things my way.
when that didnt occur? big huge pity party. it was very wise for people NOT to join in.
there was a LOT of gloom,dispair,and agony for anyone that stayed around me.

ive typed it quite a few times here:
the best move any woman i was in a relationship with made was to toss me to the curb. i was only going to drag them down with me.
no one could help me.
no one caused my problems
no one could control me.
no one could cure me.

except myself.
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Old 03-31-2018, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by honeypig View Post
Please do understand--his recovery or lack thereof has nothing, nada, not the slightest thing, to do with your "giving up on him." That decision is his, his and his alone, to make.

You can only choose what you do with YOUR life, not what he does with his. One of the best short quotes I have seen on this topic is this: "Letting go doesn't mean you stop caring. It means you stop trying to force others to care."

This goes into a little more depth:
There is a big difference between giving up and letting go. Giving up means selling yourself short. It means allowing fear and struggle to limit your opportunities and keep you stuck. Letting go means freeing yourself from something that is no longer serving you. It means removing toxic people and belief systems from your life so that you can make room for relationships and ideas that are conducive to your wellbeing and happiness. Giving up reduces your life. Letting go expands it. Giving up is imprisoning. Letting go is liberation. Giving up is self-defeat. Letting go is self-care.

So the next time you make the decision to release something or someone that is stifling your happiness and growth, and a person has the audacity to accuse you of giving up or being weak, remind yourself of the difference. Remind yourself that you don’t need anyone’s permission or approval to live your life in the way that feels right. No one has the authority to tell you who to be or how to live. No one gets to decide what your life should look like or who should be a part of it. No one, but you.


The difference is enormous, and understanding it changed my life in ways I never imagined, ways totally unrelated to the A in my life, as well in the ways one might think it would.
Hp,

This is very helpful. Thanks so much for sharing it ((hugs))
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Old 03-31-2018, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by 0vity View Post
Hi Clover, thank you for replying. He is "functioning" because we do stuff together, he works and drinking was never a problem for him at work. We had a huge fight about gaming and he finally understood, never was a problem again.

His drinking was worse when he was younger as far as I know. Right now he has goals and I believe in him to meet his expectations. He thinks he can drink just a couple and be fine. I simply don't see him being able to do that.
I am trying really hard to understand alcoholism and not be unrealistic after being heart broken many times... I would like to stay with him and see him walking next to me, reaching his goals while I'm doing the same. I just don't know how I can deal with this whole thing and how we could get there...
There have been great posts in this thread

I hesitate to reply, as it may come off as harsh and I don't mean it that way. My thinking/opinion could also be wrong. I don't think there can be a "we" because an A isn't a "whole" person, and especially while he thinks just a few is ok. Chances are he thinks about his next drink all the time, even when he isn't drinking. That doesn't leave much space in the mind or soul for much else.
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Old 03-31-2018, 02:55 PM
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Ovity....one other concept....In a voluntary, intimate relationship such as with a boyfriend....it is wiser to base decisions about commitment on the present realities...present behaviors....rather that on future "potential".
We all have more "potential". Sometimes it is utilized...and, sometimes it is not. That is up to the individual person, as to how they will press forward.
So, I think it is better to consider present, known realities before hitching our wagon to a particular star......
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Old 03-31-2018, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by dandylion View Post
Ovity....one other concept....In a voluntary, intimate relationship such as with a boyfriend....it is wiser to base decisions about commitment on the present realities...present behaviors....rather that on future "potential".
We all have more "potential". Sometimes it is utilized...and, sometimes it is not. That is up to the individual person, as to how they will press forward.
So, I think it is better to consider present, known realities before hitching our wagon to a particular star......
That reminded me of this:

"I have a history of making decisions very quickly about men. I have always fallen in love fast and without measuring risks. I have a tendency not only to see the best in everyone, but to assume that everyone is emotionally capable of reaching his highest potential. I have fallen in love more times than I care to count with the highest potential of a man, rather than with the man himself, and I have hung on to the relationship for a long time (sometimes far too long) waiting for the man to ascend to his own greatness. Many times in romance I have been a victim of my own optimism"

-Elizabeth Gikbert
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Old 03-31-2018, 03:25 PM
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Thank you all for your insightful comments and replies. Well we just happened to have the worst "talk". He said I kept personally attacking him just because he drinks and smokes, and the limit to drinks are made by the non-alcohol takers like me who hates the drinkers like him (what a logic). He had 6 beers last night, tried to justify it by saying it was over the course of 8 hours so it should be fine. He used to drink 20 do 6 is nothing. He kept saying that I've been attacking him, although i was really calm. He said I would talk hours and hours about how bad as a person he is (which I never ever called him). He said it was "implied".

I am just crying. I know married couples have it even worse, but we live together and there is no way for me to leave here right now. Financially, we share responsibilities. I think I will call one of the pastors at the church I'm working at to talk. I am not expecting anything from him anymore. I don't think he will ever see himself in fault.
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Old 03-31-2018, 03:39 PM
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Hi, Ovity.
Welcome.
Support is a good thing.
Nothing needs to happen this minute, so breathe, yeah?
Take the time, please, to educate yourself a bit about alcohol use disorder, which encompasses alcohol dependence and addiction.
It sounds like your SO is displaying pretty classic addict behavior: blaming you, claiming you are attacking him because you object to the drinking and smoking.
This not normal behavior. Most couples don’t act like this.
Keep telling yourself this.
It is easy for a partner to normalize dysfunctional behavior caused by overdrinking.
Al-anon, a group for people troubled by a loved one’s drinking, can be a great source of support, as well as your pastor.
Good luck. Keep coming back.
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